Prime Minister Imran Khan reshuffled the federal cabinet on Monday, a few days after an FIA investigation report identified top PTI leaders as being responsible for the sugar and wheat crisis.
Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Khusro Bakhtiar resigned from the ministry and has now been appointed as minister for economic affairs, replacing Hammad Azhar.
- Syed Fakhar Imam appointed as Federal Minister for National Food Security
- Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar appointed as Ministry of Economic Affairs
- Hammad Azhar appointed as Federal Minister for Industries
- MQM’s Aminul Haq appointed as Federal Minister for Telecom
- Azam Swati appointed as Federal Minister for Narcotics Control
Industries were being overlooked by Abdul Razak Dawood, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, Industry & Production and Investment. However, no update has been issued on whether Dawood’s role has changed after Azhar’s appointment.
1) Cabinet has been reshuffled by Prime Minister @ImranKhanPTI
Syed Fakhar Imam has been made Federal Minister for National Food Security
Makhdoon Khusru Bakhtiyar has been made Federal Minister for Economic Affairs
Hammad Azhar has been made Federal Minister for Industries
— Prime Minister's Office, Pakistan (@PakPMO) April 6, 2020
Azhar has been assigned the portfolio of industries, Azam Swati has been made the minister of narcotics control. Babar Awan has been made the advisor for parliamentary affairs, replacing Swati.
The government has transferred and appointed Omar Hameed as Secretary Ministry of National Food Security.
Resignation of Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui as federal minister has been accepted, while MQMP’s Amin-ul-Haq has been appointed as Federal Minister for Telecommunication.
Advisor to Prime Minister Imran Khan on Establishment, Shehzad Arbab, has been removed from his position.
The PM’s adviser on commerce, textile, industry and production, and investment, Abdul Razak Dawood, was also removed from his position, sources informed media It was, however, unclear if he had been given another post.
3) Mr. Amin ul Haq has been appointed as Federal Minister for Telecom
Mr. Hashim Popalzai removed as Secretary Ministry of National Food Security & Research
Mr Omar Hameed transferred and appointed as Secretary Ministry of National Food Security
— Prime Minister's Office, Pakistan (@PakPMO) April 6, 2020
Furthermore, Hashim Popalzai has been removed as Secretary Ministry of National Food Security and Research.
Mr. Jahangir Khan Tareen has been removed as Chair of Task Force on Agriculture in light of findings of Sugar and Wheat Inquiry Report. Any further action may be taken after final findings of the Inquiry Committee
— Dr. Shahbaz GiLL (@SHABAZGIL) April 6, 2020
In a tweet, Tareen refuted reports that he was removed as the chair of the agricultural task force, urging people to “get your facts right”. However, former Punjab government spokesperson and PTI leader Dr Shahbaz Gill took to Twitter and said that Tareen had been removed as the chairperson of the board.
Hello hello, News bring reported that I have been “removed” as C’man Agri Task Force ….I was never chairman of any task force . Can anyone show me a notification with me as C’man ??
Pl get your facts right people
— Jahangir Khan Tareen (@JahangirKTareen) April 6, 2020
‘Top PTI members benefitted from sugar crisis’
Earlier, a report by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had claimed that top PTI members were among those who gained from the recent sugar crisis in the country.
An investigation into the crisis had been ordered by Prime Minister Imran Khan in February.
Among the people named in the FIA report are Jahangir Tareen and a brother of Minister for National Food Security Khusro Bakhtiar.
Tareen was said by the report to have benefitted the most from the sugar crisis followed by Bakhtiar’s brother.
The report also claims that the companies belonging to Moonis Elahi — an ally of the party — profited from the sugar crisis. Elahi is Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi’s son and a key member of the PML-Q.
The document does not mention under whose influence Punjab government issued subsidies to sugar mills or why the Economic Coordination Council (ECC) approved the decision to export sugar.
Reacting to the report, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said he has faith that whatever the situation, Prime Minister Imran Khan “will ensure justice”.
Tareen, PTI’s former general secretary, said that out of the Rs3bn subsidy to the sugar mills, Rs2.5bn were given when the PML-N was in power.
Some points to note on sugar inquiry report
1..My companies exported 12.28% while my market share is 20% so less than I could Have
2.Export was on first come
First serve basis
3.Of the total Rs 3 bn subsidy rec’d Rs 2.5 Bn came when N was in power and I was in opposition 😊 pic.twitter.com/T25Cu2FT60
— Jahangir Khan Tareen (@JahangirKTareen) April 4, 2020
PM Imran warns of stern action
On Sunday, Prime Minister Imran Khan had said he would take action against those responsible for the sugar and wheat price hike after he sees the detailed forensic report of the preliminary findings.
“I await the detailed forensic reports now by the high-powered commission, which will come out on 25 April, before taking action,” the prime minister said in a tweet.
I await the detailed forensic reports now by the high-powered commission, which will come out on 25 April, before taking action. InshaAllah, after these reports come out no powerful lobby will be able to profiteer at the expense of our public.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) April 5, 2020
Punjab Food Minister Samiullah Chaudhry resigns
Punjab Food Minister Samiullah Chaudhry tendered his resignation on Monday over alleged inaction on reforms regarding the food industry.
In his resignation, Chaudhry said he resigned after meeting Chief Minister Punjab, Usman Buzdar.
In the letter, the provincial food minister said that he faced allegation that he could not bring reforms in the department, adding that until the clearance of accusations he would not hold any government office.
“I am willing to sacrifice thousands of such ministries for completing the agenda of Imran Khan,” he wrote.
Calling the allegations baseless, the provincial minister said that he is voluntarily stepping back.
The letter said that the minister is willing to present himself for accountability at every forum.